Plea Bargaining For Repeat Motor Vehicle Offenders Under The Unsafe Driving Statute

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Plea Bargaining For Repeat Motor Vehicle Offenders Under The Unsafe Driving Statute

Plea Bargaining For Repeat Motor Vehicle Offenders Under The Unsafe Driving Statute

N.J. Appellate Division Reverses Recent Decision Interpreting N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2

A subsection of the Careless Driving statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2 is most commonly used for plea bargaining many motor vehicle charges in municipal court, and was created by the New Jersey legislature specifically for that purpose. The first two times a defendant uses this plea bargaining provision, there are no motor vehicle points assessed. The third time an individual uses this part of the statue,
4 motor vehicle points
could result
if the third incident is less than 5 years after the second use
.

In 2008, the New Jersey Appellate Division interpreted the statute to mean the third use would
always result in the 4 points, regardless of the time that elapsed between the second and third attempts to plea bargain. However, just recently in
Patel v. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the Appellate Division reversed itself and returned to the above interpretation! It is again permissible to allow no motor vehicle points to be assessed if 5 years or more have passed after use of the second statute.

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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